Teens Facing Rape Counts

STEUBENVILLE – The Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office is expected to charge two 16-year-old Steubenville High School students today with rape and kidnapping in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a juvenile female.

Those two male suspects appeared before Juvenile Judge Sam Kerr on Wednesday during a detention hearing in a Jefferson County Justice Center courtroom. Assistant Prosecutor Samuel Pate announced the intention to hold the suspects in the juvenile detention center until the charges are filed.

“As it relates to this particular hearing, the state of Ohio is opposed to any release of these individuals pending filing of the charges,” Pate told Kerr.

The prosecutor’s office has 72 hours to file charges against the two suspects. After those charges are filed, the court will schedule an initial appearance hearing within the next 15 business days. The suspects will be advised of the charges against them and the possible penalties during their initial appearance. They may remain detained while awaiting that proceeding, however.

One of the suspects appeared with an attorney, while the other suspect’s father advised the court he would retain an attorney to represent his son.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said she would recuse herself from the case because she is familiar with individuals surrounding the investigation, many of whom are juveniles. Hanlin said she will request the Ohio Attorney General’s Office appoint a special prosecutor to the case.

Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Michael McVey released a statement saying the suspects were student-athletes and that they were immediately suspended from participating in sports following their arrests early Wednesday morning.

“We learned (Wednesday) morning that two Steubenville City High School athletes were arrested … .” McVey stated. “The district intends to fully cooperate with any criminal investigation that may ensue from this situation. In accordance with our District’s zero tolerance athletic policy, any student who is arrested is immediately suspended from all extracurricular activities including sports.”

The joint investigation by the Steubenville Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department remains ongoing and more individuals, including juveniles, may be arrested and charged, officials said.

According to a police report, two individuals arrived at the Steubenville police station at 1:40 a.m. Aug. 14 to report “a sexual assault involving their juvenile daughter.” An officer took information for the report and referred the individuals to the department’s juvenile division, the report states.